Juniors primed for state titles

February 20, 2018

Chloe Rowlings trains before the state championship. Photo by Luke Hemer.

ROCHESTER’S junior firefighters will fight it out for championship glory this weekend in Warrnambool.

Urban junior fire brigade competitions have a proud 45-year history, with the annual State Championships attracting around 66 teams from across Victoria, and two teams as far away as Western Australia.

The Rochy brigade have been successful in local competitions, with many placings and aggregate points.

‘‘I’m really impressed with how the team has gone,’’ coach Jarrod Kelly said.

‘‘We train our wet events in Echuca, so I pick them up in the bus from school at 3.45pm to drive up the road, then the kids run their hearts out for an hour and a half, to then get back on the bus and go home.’’

Under 14 Harika Aktepe is only into her second season but has found the brigade has allowed her to socialise.

‘‘I like the socialisation but it also shows good communication between team mates,’’ she said.

‘‘My favourite event is the two man marshall because I’m good at it’’

Fellow under 14 Oliver McMinn joined the junior brigade late last year.

‘‘I heard along the grapevine and thought it was different so I went and checked it out,’’ he said.

‘‘I decided to join and I really enjoy it.’’

His favourite event is the four person striking first and second disc wet event.

‘‘It’s great fun especially squirting water and to represent the brigade is really cool too,’’ he said.

Under 17s Calvin Barkby and Roy Macague agreed the competition is tough.

‘‘Training is intense, but the rewards are awesome at the end,’’ Calvin said. Calvin has been around the Rochester brigade all his life and started in the juniors when he was 11.

‘‘I’m now wildfire and structure qualified in the senior brigade,’’ he said.

Roy has also been around emergency services his whole life with his mum in the local SES.

‘‘The sport is fun and gives good team building skills for life,’’ he said.

The team will travel to Warrnambool on Friday for two days of intense competition.

The brigade will keep the community informed via the senior brigade Facebook site over the weekend and a full wrap in next Tuesday’s Campaspe News.

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